How to Maintain Beautiful Hair as You Age (Courtesy of the Late, Great Whitney Houston)
by Arar Han
More hair in the drain? Dry and frizzy hair that just won't behave?
Aging hair can be a pain. Let's talk about how to take care of it—with some Whitney Houston inspiration. You can do a lot to make your beautiful mane extend beyond that "One Moment in Time!"
"All At Once"
We all know about going gray, but hair loss is thought of as something only men have to worry about, right?
Unfortunately, that's not quite true. As your hormones change, your hair will thin. You will lose some hair, and it might even start to grow in different places—less on your head and more everywhere else! Your scalp will produce less oil, making your hair drier and more brittle, leading to the dreaded frizzies.
Don't despair, "It'll Be Okay"! There's a lot you can do to "Get it Back":
"I Didn't Know My Own Strength"
If your hair is already thinning, don't help it along by pulling it out. Be gentle when brushing and styling. Follow these three tips:
- Use a wide-toothed comb instead of a brush.
- Gently work out tangles—don't try to pull them out.
- Don't pull your hair back too tight. Tight buns and ponytails cause a lot of extra stress on delicate strands. Loosen it up for healthier hair.
"I Have Nothing" (Without Moisture)
Your hair is producing less oil, making your hair dry and prone to breaking and being frizzy. The first step is to stop stripping your hair of the moisture it's got.
- Use shampoo without sulfates or alcohol and conditioner without silicones. These ingredients might give you short-term shininess, but they take out moisture.
- Avoid heat treatments like curling irons and straighteners. There are other ways to style your hair that don't involve cooking it. Embrace your natural texture!
Then you can give your hair the moisture it craves.
- Use protein-rich hair treatments.
- Stimulate growth by massaging your scalp with a nutritional oil like coconut, olive or jojoba oil.
- Try topical medication like Minoxidil to stimulate regrowth. It is rubbed onto the scalp, and some people see regrowth after 12 weeks.
Have you been stressed lately? With less stress you will not only be happier, but your hair will be healthier. Here are some easy ways to de-stress:
- Get more sleep.
- Write down your worries before bed. It will help your brain settle down and get a good night of rest.
- Exercise regularly.
- Try meditation or yoga or get a massage.
- Take some time for yourself. Take a bath, light a candle, read a book.
- Get outside. Enjoy the sun and fresh air.
"Hold On, Help Is on the Way"
Feed your hair with the right food and vitamins. Make sure you are getting enough of the following nutrients:
- Omega-3 fatty acids. You can get it from salmon, sardines, walnuts and avocados.
- Biotin, a B vitamin. Good sources include meat, walnuts, and leafy greens.
- Iron. Hair loss is a common symptom of being anemic.
- Protein. This is what your hair is made of. You can get protein from traditional sources like fish, chicken, beef and pork, or you can turn to other sources like tofu, black beans, chickpeas or dairy products.
Hair grows one centimeter a month, so it will take about six months to see the results of taking vitamins and changing your diet.
The best thing you can do for your hair is to take care of yourself. That includes your diet, your emotions and your health. Aging hair can be a pain, but it is also beautiful and something to "Celebrate." Stand tall, smile and be "Unashamed." Own your aging with confidence.
is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist and co-CEO of , a personal safety technology firm with offices nationwide. Arar holds a dual degree in philosophy and human development from Boston College, summa cum laude, and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She hopes it'll be years before she needs to take her own aging hair advice, but she's confident these treatments and strategies will keep her locks shining for years to come.